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How to downgrade your Apple TV software version

tvOS 14 sample
tvOS 14 sample (Image credit: Apple)

If you installed tvOS 14 and would like to go back to tvOS 13, you have limited options. For many, there is no solution, which is something to keep in mind. Nonetheless, here are the available options to downgrade your Apple TV software version.

Downgrading your Apple TV software version on Apple TV 4K

If you installed tvOS 14 on your Apple TV 4K, you're out of luck. There is no way to downgrade your Apple TV to an earlier version of tvOS. The reason: The Apple TV 4K doesn't include the necessary USB-C port to allow you to connect it to your Mac, and Apple doesn't provide an over-the-air restore image for the most recent public version of tvOS.

Downgrading your Apple TV software version on Apple TV HD

You can downgrade your Apple TV HD using a Mac via macOS Catalina. The solution should also work with MacOS Big Sur.

How to use macOS Catalina to downgrade your Apple TV HD

  1. Download the latest publicly available version of tvOS 13, saving the file to your Mac's desktop.
  2. Connect your Apple TV HD to your Mac using a USB-C cable.
  3. Launch Finder on your Mac.
  4. Select the Apple TV under Locations in Finder.
  5. Click Restore Apple TV while holding down the Option key.
  6. Select the tvOS file you downloaded.

To downgrade your Apple TV HD, download the latest version of tvOS 13, connect the Apple TV with your USB-C cable, launch Finder. Select Apple TV under Locations in Finder. Click Restore Apple TV while holding down the Option key. Select the tvOS file you downloaded

To downgrade your Apple TV HD, download the latest version of tvOS 13, connect the Apple TV with your USB-C cable, launch Finder. Select Apple TV under Locations in Finder. Click Restore Apple TV whil (Image credit: iMore)

From here, extraction and installation of the tvOS firmware begin. Once complete, you'll be asked to set up Apple TV on the device. Unplug the UBS-C cable when complete.

Final questions and comments

Do you have any questions about tvOS 14, be sure to check out our full preview. When it's time to buy something new, look at the best Apple TVs on the market today.

Updated September 2020: Updated for tvOS 14.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

1 Comment
  • The link to download tvOS13 just goes to another article here.